So, let me ask everyone a question here. How many of you are happy with the way the country is right now? How many of you are dissatisfied? How many of you want to change this world?
This is the fundamental question in life. At some point in life everybody gets to the point where they must ask one question. Do you accept things the way they are or do you want to change the world? This fundamental question will determine if you are a human being or if you are an animal. When you decide to change the world, then you become a human being.
So, we are going to have a discussion of what it means to be a human being. Because the history of the Tamil people revolves around this central question: what does it mean to be a human being. It is a right of everyone on this world to have the opportunity to be a human being and the conditions of our environment must be an environment where all of us can be human beings and not be animals. Alright?
As a Systems Scientist, I study systems. So, we are going to talk about systems today.
I want you guys to see the world as systems. You are all Engineering students, right? The foundations of all engineering are systems theory. When you look at this world, we have maybe 100 to 500 people who run this world today. Right? In India, it’s maybe 50 people. But there’s about 500 people who run this world today. And the system that they created is not a system to serve you and me. That is why you are unhappy — it is a system to serve themselves. And, we each have a certain amount of time in this planet — maybe 50 years, 60 years, or even 100 years if we are lucky. But it is our duty to change the system. You understand? That is what engineering is about. Engineering is not about simply observing the world. Engineers create things. We create systems. There is no god who is going to come here and create that system. You must create that system. You understand? That is what engineering is about.
There is a big difference between scientists and engineers. Scientists talks lies. Scientists can lie, but Engineers can never lie. You know why? Because Engineers must make something. Scientists can simply observe — they can put a curve and fit a line to a curve, right? they can do linear regression, they can do statistics. Engineers can not lie. Because you must build something. Right? You must build an airplane, you must build a bridge, you must build a software program, if it doesn’t work, you can’t talk your way out of it. You can’t write a paper about it.
So, Engineers must understand how systems work. The most important system, you must understand, is the system around you, and that you are part of that system, your body is part of that system, what you put in your mouth is part of that system. Everything is interconnected. So, when I built that first email system, it too was a system.
This history of the North Indians against the South Indians is a history of oppression, and the oppressed people, if they don’t stand-up and fight, they’ll become more and more oppressed. Because it changes you mentally. Your mental system changes to think you are less than other people. It is a very psychologically destructing thing.
If you guys are dissatisfied, it is your responsibility to create your future. You must not just be seeking jobs, that’s slavery. You must be job creators. That’s liberation. It’s easy to graduate, then go for work for a company. Anyone can do that. Right? But you must be revolutionaries. What is a revolutionary? A revolutionary tells the truth. That’s being a human being. Human beings are supposed to tell the truth. That is the purpose of life. Otherwise, life is not worth living. Is it? Do you want to be a slave? Or do you want to be a liberated human being? What do you want? Exactly! So, you must be bold and you must tell the truth and you must be ready to fight. That is when you become a human being. You follow what I’m saying? You must be real engineers. Engineers do not except the world the way it is. They create new systems. Right? Email didn’t exist, it wasn’t like god came and created email, an Engineer created it. Right? Now, God may have inspired me but I still had to do the work. You follow what I’m saying?
So, your job as Engineers is to be creators, and to tell the truth, and to be ready to fight. See what I’m saying? Engineers don’t accept things that don’t work, right? You learn those principles in physics, but in our social systems we accept these things. Why? Think about it. There’s no reason for it.
The world deserves better. Someone once said, “if there’s equality in heaven, why isn’t there equality on earth?” — right? That’s a fundamental question. So my view is that innovation can occur anytime, anyplace, by anybody. All of you can invent anything, you don’t need the government, you don’t need a lot of money, but you must go within yourself. Find that strength within you. Ultimately, we are all alone, it is between us and god. And so, you must find that strength to create a better world. It’s not going to happen by itself. It’s not someone who’s going to come and create it for you.
Take your life seriously. Do not except unacceptable behaviors from anyone – at all. Life is too short. Fight for what is right. You can create anything in this world. It is your responsibility as Engineers.
Most of science and engineering is dictated by the questions people ask. How do I change the world? Right? First thing you must look at is, what has been the history of change. If you look at the history of human beings, change has always come about through mass movements. They have a revolutionary theory and they have a way of disseminating that theory. You need to talk in groups about how can I change the world, and you need to study history. You just need to do some engineering research, like, how did Linen change Russia? Go study, and you’ll find the answers.
I transcribed this from one of Dr. V.A. Shiva’s speeches at a University.